ancient imperial court, a generation or so after Constantinople fell to the Turks. His build-up of earthly power coincided with eschatological expectations no less intense for being variegated: to churchmen such as Ivan's metropolitan, Zosima, the fall of New Rome in 1453 might herald the present world's end but also God's glorification of 'the new emperor Constantine for the new city of Constantine, Moscow, the sovereign of the whole Rus land and many other lands'.12 Ivan adopted some of the trappings and ritual of the Byzantine court, laying out the Kremlin as the exemplary centre of newly gathered lands and a new society, poised between this world and the next.13 The ruler as guardian of souls could be of practical help to whoever believed that a God-willed new age was at hand. What might seem narrowly religious concerns coloured general expectations of a prince's worth, which Ivan built on - in bricks and mortar, and with symbols ofJerusalem such as the liturgical arks donated to one ofthe Kremlin's churches.14 The sense of being a New Israel was more clearly articulated and fervently believed among the late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Rus elite than that of being the New Rome. Yet it was the imperial city on the Bosporus that provided the most recent model of, and familiar pathway towards, the New Jerusalem.
This was not simply a matter of evoking a vanished empire. Ivan's political ambitions gained definition from beliefs about the future that emanated from Orthodox thinking. And, for all their diversity, the eschatological theories took for granted that Byzantium was God's most favoured kingdom on earth: any other Orthodox ruler could only hope to succeed in his own domain by God's will, observing the codes of conduct set out by pious tsars. The ruler's role as overseer of the church, defender of his subjects and caretaker of their souls received fullest articulation in Rus with the coronation of Ivan IV as emperor in i547. Ivan and his counsellors expressly invoked historical associations with Byzantium. They elaborated upon the tale of the 'crown' sent to one of Ivan's distant forebears by Constantine IX Monomachos and adapted Byzantine rites and texts for the coronation ceremony itself. On murals of the Kremlin's Golden Hall were depicted scenes from the history of Israel and Rus (the New Israel); the God-given quality of the ruler's power was a prominent theme, his 'divine wisdom' being highlighted in the manner of Dusan's at Lesnovo.15 The
12 'Mitropolita Zosimy izveshchenie', RIB vi, cols. 798-9.
13 M.S. Flier, 'Till the end of time. The apocalypse in Russian historical experience before 1500', in Orthodox Russia: belief and practice under the tsars, ed. V A. Kivelson and R. H. Greene (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), 135-6.
15 D. Rowland, 'Two cultures, one throne room. Secular courtiers and orthodox culture in the Golden Hall of the Moscow Kremlin', in Orthodox Russia, 41-3, 47-51, 54-5.
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